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NEW YORK CITY-DSW is just one of the retailers choosing the Downtown area. The shoe retailer, part of Columbus, OH-based Retail Ventures Inc., will open two new stores in the coming weeks. The company already has sites in Queens and in Brooklyn, but these opening are their first in Manhattan stores.

The company, which also owns the Value City and Filene’s Basement chains, signed on for 30,000 sf at 4 Union Square South on 14th Street, which is owned by Vornado Realty Trust. The site will also be home to a 90,000-sf Filene’s that will also open at the end of October. A Whole Foods market and Forever 21 are both expected to open early next year.

“It’s a great fit,” says Faith Hope Consolo, vice chairman of Garrick-Aug. “It’s a shoe street.” She adds that a key advantage is that there are more than 15 schools in the immediate vicinity, creating an ripe audience for the DSW product. Bruce Shepard of Mamaroneck, NY-based EMB Associates represented DSW and Filene’s.

The company’s other location will be the Forest City Ratner-owned 102 North End Ave. in Battery Park City. The retailer took 25,000 of space. Both sites will contain more than 41,000 pairs of shoes.

“DSW will redefine the way Manhattanites shop for shoes,” says Charles Rath, chief marketing officer of Retail Ventures, adding that the stores will “cater to the passionate shoe enthusiast.” The stores will also feature same-day and local delivery.

Founded in 1991, DSW employs more than 5,000 associates and operates over 165 stores from coast to coast. Manhattan is not the retailer’s only expansion site. Others expected to open soon include Carmel, IN; Redlands, CA; and Fredricksburg, VA. Retail Ventures posted total sales as of Oct. 2 at nearly $1.8 billion. DSW represented $96 million of that total.

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